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Custody Arrangements with a Narcissist - Your Guide

Trying to share custody with a narcissist can be uniquely challenging - today, we're covering what you can expect from co-parenting with someone suffering from narcissistic personality disorder.

To schedule a consultation with one of our custody attorneys, contact us online or via phone at (908) 274-3028.

Narcissists Sometimes Use Children as Pawns

For many narcissists, feeling as though they have power over their lives is incredibly important. Typically, custody cases occur when co-parents are in a state of upheaval, such as during a divorce. As a result, narcissists often try and exert control over custody disputes by attempting to gain primary custody of the child.

In these situations, the narcissist isn't attempting to gain primary or sole custody because they believe it's what's best for the child, but rather because doing so would help them feel more in control of their current situation.

In most custody cases, courts default to joint custody (allocated physical and legal custody rights to both parents as equally as possible). However, the child's best interests are always the court's priority. As a result, if the court believes one parent is unfit to act as a caregiver, they may award the other parent with primary or sole custody.

In an attempt to gain custody, many narcissists attempt to manipulate children during custody disputes, enticing them to testify against the other parent. Narcissists may even coach their children into falsely testifying for the court.

As a result, being aware of whether your narcissistic co-parent is manipulating your child is incredibly important. So is having strong evidence to support your own assertions.

Having a psychologist work with you as an expert witness on your case may be particularly potent. If you can show the court evidence of a narcissistic personality disorder diagnosis for your spouse, or have a psychologist or other third parties testify about your spouse's narcissistic behavior, it could help you get a better outcome in your case.

Setting Strong Boundaries Is Vital

Since narcissists often try to manipulate other individuals, having strong boundaries around them is incredibly important.

During your custody dispute, your co-parent may try and spread falsehoods about you. They could attempt to insult you, tell lies about you in court, or try to contact you in inappropriate ways.

Staying true to yourself is incredibly important during a custody dispute with a narcissist. You may want to consider reducing contact with them as much as you can, or even blocking them entirely. This may not be feasible during a custody case, especially if you need to communicate about exchanging custody, but reducing contact as much as you can will serve you well in your case.

At DeTommaso Law Group, our team is here to ensure you identify and pursue the best possible outcome in your custody dispute. To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (908) 274-3028.
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